Acts 18-19

Paul in Corinth 1After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.2There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,3and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers.4Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.5When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus.6When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”7Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue.8Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized.9One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;10for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.”11He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.12But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal.13They said, “This man is persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to the law.”14Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of crime or serious villainy, I would be justified in accepting the complaint of you Jews;15but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I do not wish to be a judge of these matters.”16And he dismissed them from the tribunal.17Then all of them seized Sosthenes, the official of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of these things.Paul's Return to Antioch 18After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut, for he was under a vow.19When they reached Ephesus, he left them there, but first he himself went into the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews.20When they asked him to stay longer, he declined;21but on taking leave of them, he said, “I will return to you, if God wills.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.22When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch.23After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.Ministry of Apollos 24Now there came to Ephesus a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria. He was an eloquent man, well-versed in the scriptures.25He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord; and he spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately.27And when he wished to cross over to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. On his arrival he greatly helped those who through grace had become believers,28for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.Chapter 19Paul in Ephesus 1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples.2He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”3Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John's baptism.”4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.”5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied—7altogether there were about twelve of them.8He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.9When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.10This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.The Sons of Sceva 11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,12so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them.13Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.15But the evil spirit said to them in reply, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”16Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered them all, and so overpowered them that they fled out of the house naked and wounded.17When this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised.18Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices.19A number of those who practiced magic collected their books and burned them publicly; when the value of these books was calculated, it was found to come to fifty thousand silver coins.20So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. The Riot in Ephesus 21Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have gone there, I must also see Rome.”22So he sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself stayed for some time longer in Asia.23About that time no little disturbance broke out concerning the Way.24A man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the artisans.25These he gathered together, with the workers of the same trade, and said, “Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business.26You also see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost the whole of Asia this Paul has persuaded and drawn away a considerable number of people by saying that gods made with hands are not gods.27And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship her.”28When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”29The city was filled with the confusion; and people rushed together to the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's travel companions.30Paul wished to go into the crowd, but the disciples would not let him;31even some officials of the province of Asia, who were friendly to him, sent him a message urging him not to venture into the theater.32Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.33Some of the crowd gave instructions to Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed forward. And Alexander motioned for silence and tried to make a defense before the people.34But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours all of them shouted in unison, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”35But when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Citizens of Ephesus, who is there that does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven?36Since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash.37You have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess.38If therefore Demetrius and the artisans with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges there against one another.39If there is anything further you want to know, it must be settled in the regular assembly.40For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.”41When he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.